World’s Highest-Paid Footballer: Lionel Messi Edges Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi edges Cristiano Ronaldo as the world’s highest-paid footballer, retaining his place at the top of Forbes’ list. Over the past year, Messi earned $126 million (£98m) to remain atop of Forbes’ list of highest-paid footballers, with Cristiano Ronaldo within a touching distance in second place.

Just last month, the Barcelona superstar shocked the football world when he told the club he had spent the entire career of his desire to leave after a trophyless 2019-20 campaign.

Meanwhile, Lionel Messi was hoping he could trigger the clause in his contract that allows him to leave for free. However, Barca and La Liga rebuffed that claim and insisted his deal could only be terminated should any club meet his release clause.

As the saga went on, Messi was already linked with big-money moves to Manchester City, Paris Saint Germain, and Juventus as the footballing geometry nearly changed as a result of his request.

Despite Messi’s frustration with the Camp Nou board, and president Josep Maria Bartomeu in particular, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner performed a dramatic Barca U-turn. At the time, Messi revealed to Goal that he has elected to stay with the embattled La Liga giants for at least the 2020-21 season.

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Amid the internal chaos in Barcelona, Lionel Messi remains the world’s highest-paid footballer after earning $126 million in salary and endorsements over the past 12 months.

World's Highest-Paid Footballer - Lionel Messi
Barcelona Captain Lionel Messi Remains the World’s Highest-Paid Footballer.

Lionel Messi’s arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo is second on the list after seeing an earning of $117 million (£91m) from his Juventus contract; likewise, his various endorsements off the pitch.

Elsewhere, Paris Saint Germain duo Neymar and Kylian Mbappe sit at third and fourth in the list, respectively. While Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is in fifth place as the Reds begin their Premier League title defense.

Rounding off the Forbes’ top 10 highest-paid footballers in the world are French World Cup winners Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, representing Manchester United and Barcelona respectively at 6th and 7th. At the same time, wantaway Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale makes the 8th place. Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea complete the top 10 at 9th and 10th, respectively.

Forbes’ Top 10 Highest-Paid Footballers In the World

Below is the complete list of the top 10 highest-paid footballers in the world according to Forbes.

  1. Lionel Messi – $126m (£98m)
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo – $117m (£91m)
  3. Neymar dos Santos – $96m (£74.7m)
  4. Kylian Mbappe – $42m (£32.6m)
  5. Mohamed Salah – $37m (£28.8m)
  6. Paul Pogba – $34m (£26.5m)
  7. Antoine Griezmann – $33m (£25.7m)
  8. Gareth Bale – $29m (£22.6m)
  9. Robert Lewandowski – $28m (£21.8m)
  10. David De Gea – $27m (£21m)

Congratulations to Lionel Messi for retaining his crown as the world’s highest-paid footballer. Feel free to add a comment below!

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